Material: Classic-tinged rock, with a smattering of soul and blues, is on the menu for this seasoned troupe from the Motor City. Historically, it has been this writer’s observation that bands often draw a line in the sand regarding the performance of covers and originals. Dirty Mind Detroit breaks down that barrier, with original songs that match seamlessly with the tried and true. Elton John’s “Love Lies Bleeding” and Aretha Franklin’s “Natural Woman” dovetail perfectly with the slide guitar-driven “No Other” and the Detroit Music Awards-nominated ballad “Long Time Comin’.”
Musicianship: With each member of this unit being an essential cog in the wheel, their music moves with mechanized precision. No one is necessarily the star, yet they all take their turn in the spotlight. Parker fronts the band with a strong presence and a diverse skill set. She has this Bonnie Raitt/Janis Joplin vibe happening that spans a wide range of emotional terrain. Miller is a great musical counterpart that provides a limitless array of guitar tones and styles along with solid lead and backing vocals. Keyboardist Demyan offers multi-textured sounds coupled with stand out solos on piano and organ. Melendez lays down the boogie and soothes with soulful whole notes when called upon. His ability to navigate meaty lines and hooks throughout each song really give the groove an adrenaline shot. Brancart locks down the rhythm securely and propels the band with thoughtful accents and fills.
Performance: The venue was packed as the band led the day’s entertainment in service of a record-breaking charity event. The stage area was pretty Spartan and there was no special lighting to speak of, but the band itself was more than enough. The members were focused and pooled all their energy into their performance. In particular, the frontline harmonies were stellar as Parker stealthily led the fray. Also, Melendez and Brancart were all smiles, which seemed to permeate lightness throughout the entire band.
Summary: Dirty Mind Detroit is a no-frills meat 'n potatoes act that gives the crowd its money’s worth. They have a wide catalog of tunes that are refined and really seem to resonate with their audience. From nightclubs, to festivals, casinos and charity events this unit provides full-spectrum entertainment.
Players: Don Miller, guitar, vocals; Melanie Parker, lead vocals; Steve Demyan, keyboards, vocals; Bob Melendez, bass; Ken Brancart, drums